Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday's Pregame Beat: Duh ... San Diego State at BYU

10:00 pm: No. 4 San Diego State @ No. 9 BYU: Obviously, big game of the night happens out in the Mountain West Conference where two of the top ten teams in the country (believe it) will battle for first place in the in the first of what is sure to be two outstanding game between the two clubs.

Most have touted the key to San Diego State's attack will be slowing down Jimmer Fredette, and to a point that is true. If he goes for 40 points, that Cougar team is very, very difficult to beat. Luke Winn broke down what different teams have down to try and slow Jimmer down, but the key is simple -- you have to make him uncomfortable. From the second he crosses half court, you have to be chest to chest with him. Be physical when he moves without the ball. Don't let him square up when he makes a catch on the wing, crowd him when he brings the ball up, help when he puts the ball on the floor, and make him take tough shots. The problem? He hits a lot of those tough shots. At the end of the day, defending Jimmer really comes down to hoping he misses.

Personally, I think the key for the Aztecs is to keep the rest of that BYU team in check. Jimmer is going to get his. But Jackson Emery on the perimeter and Brandon Davies in the post are both underrated players and very capable scorers. Noah Hartsock has hit some big shots for the Cougars and Kyle Collinsworth is one of the best freshmen in the MWC. Jimmer can get his 25-30 points, but if you stop the rest of that starting five from scoring, you have the best chance of winning.

For BYU, they have to make defensive rebounding their number one priority. The Aztecs, with a front line that consists of Kawhi Leonard, Malcolm Thomas, Billy White, and Brian Carlwell, are as big and athletic as anyone in the country and are one of the better teams in the country going to the offensive glass. BYU likes to get out and run, whereas SDSU is much more comfortable playing more of a possession game. The easiest way to run is by getting stops, either by forcing a turnover or grabbing a defensive rebound. SDSU is pretty good at protecting the ball, so if the Cougars are going to get out in transition, it needs to be off of a rebound.

The key matchup for BYU is going to be Kyle Collinsworth and Charles Abouo on Leonard. He's a very good offensive rebounder -- the best on the Aztecs -- but he's a difficult matchup for most small forwards when it comes to boxing out. He's also become a more efficient offensive player, creating opportunities for his teammates with the pass this season.

I hope you get CBS College Sports. If you don't, you better find yourself a sports bar that does, because this one is going to be a lot of fun.

You may as wel bide your time between now and 10:00, because tonight's early games are not all that great.

7:00 pm: West Virginia @ No. 19 Louisville: The Mountaineers are down to just eight scholarship players for this one after the suspensions of Danny Jennings and Casey Mitchell. Louisville, on the other hand, is one of the deepest teams in the Big East and are not afraid to push the tempo. They press and they shoot a lot of threes. West Virginia is going to have to locate the Cardinal shooters and avoid turning the ball over if they want a chance to win tonight.

7:00 pm: St. John's @ No. 20 Georgetown: This is an interesting game seeing as both of these teams are currently sitting right in the middle of a loaded Big East and both really could use this win. The Johnnies already own a hard-fought victory over the Hoyas in Madison Square Garden, and a sweep would look very good come March if both of the these teams find themselves on the bubble.

8:30 pm: Northwestern @ No. 18 Minnesota: This is a game that you are going to want to keep your eye on. The Wildcats are still looking for something to put on their at-large resume while the Gophers will be playing their first game without either Devoe Joseph or Al Nolen.

7:30 pm: No. 8 Texas @ Oklahoma State: It will be interesting to see how Texas handles this game. The Longhorns win at Kansas has made a believer out of a lot of people, but their collapse last season is still fresh in a lot of minds. With Missouri and Texas A&M coming up next, this could end up being a trap game. Oklahoma State isn't the same Oklahoma State from last season, but Keiton Page and Marshall Moses are both talented players and Gallagher-Iba Arena is always a tough place to play. Don't forget, the Cowboys will be honoring the ten year anniversary of the plane crash that killed ten members of their program, so emotions will be riding high.

7:00 pm: No. 7 Villanova @ Providence: Villanova is a bit of a conundrum this season, but they are coming off of a last second loss at UConn and a win at Syracuse. The Friars, on the other hand, like the press and put up a lot of points. They are coming off of a win over Louisville at the Dunkin Donuts Center, so the Wildcats better show up ready to play.

Other Notable Games:

  • 7:00 pm: Southern Miss @ East Carolina
  • 7:00 pm: UMass @ St. Bonaventure
  • 7:00 pm: Charlotte @ Temple
  • 7:00 pm: Duquesne @ Fordham
  • 7:00 pm: Bucknell @ Lehigh
  • 7:00 pm: George Washington @ Xavier
  • 7:30 pm: UNC @ Miami FL
  • 8:00 pm: UCF @ Memphis
  • 8:00 pm: LSU @ Tennessee
  • 9:00 pm: Rutgers @ Cincinnati
  • 9:05 pm: Creighton @ Northern Iowa
  • 9:05 pm: Tulane @ UTEP
  • 10:00 pm: TCU @ New Mexico

As a bonus for tonight's games, here are a couple of videos that made the rounds on the intrawebs today.

No comments: